Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Wife of the court poet/playwrite and Libertine John Wilmot (Earl of Rochester). In 1667 Lord Rochester married Elizabeth Malet, a witty heiress whom he had attempted to abduct two years earlier. Pepys describes the event in his diary, 28 May 1665: "Thence to my Lady Sandwich's, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester's running away on Friday night last with Mrs Mallet, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at Whitehall with Mrs Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and footmen, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no success) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry and the Lord sent to the Tower."
I found this very instructive, with a portrait as well:
[URL updated from http://www.geocities.com/clayton_veale/elizabet... on 28 Nov 2009. P.G.]
Elizabeth (Malet) Wilmot, Countess of Rochester
there's more about her family at
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